The incident took place early Friday morning at the Croydon Custody Center in south London, the city’s Metropolitan Police said.
According to the police report, fellow officers and paramedics also treated the officer who was at the scene. However, he later died of his injuries at the hospital.
A 23-year-old man was detained at the scene, police said. He is in critical condition in hospital from a gunshot wound. The Metropolitan Police Service has launched an investigation into the murder.
The shooting death of a police officer is an unusual occurrence in the United Kingdom, where police do not usually carry guns.
No police rifles were fired during the incident, the police statement said.
“It was a truly shocking incident in which one of our colleagues lost his life in a very tragic situation. My heart goes out to his family, direct colleagues and friends,” said Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said the country is indebted to police officers who risk their lives to keep the community safe.
“My deepest condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of the police officer who was killed in Croydon last night,” he said on Twitter. “We are indebted to those who risked their lives to keep us safe.”
UK Home Secretary Priti Patel is shocked by the news. “Today my thoughts are with his family, friends and police colleagues in London and across the country,” he said in a statement.
Patel expressed his condolences to Dick as he was being interrogated and offered any necessary support.
“This is a sad day for our country and another terrible reminder of how our police officers put themselves in danger every day to keep the rest safe,” he said.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan said he was “devastated” by the shooting.
“My heart goes out to the family of this brave officer who paid the ultimate price to help keep the people of London safe. Tragic incidents like this are a reminder of the dangers our police officers face every day,” Conn said on Twitter.
“My thoughts are with the entire Metropolitan Police family and I know I will plunge their colleague into deep grief at this difficult time. I am in close contact with the Commissioner to offer my support to him and our meteorological officers and staff.”